The government, via the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) of the United Kingdom (UK), announced a £20 million infusion into six research studies focusing on new COVID-19 vaccines in a quest to establish the UK as a major scientific presence in leading the medical response to the novel coronavirus now sweeping the globe. These new research endeavors follow up on other infusions of capital into UK research targeting the novel coronavirus.
This government investment, targeting 2 COVID-19-focused vaccine clinical trials, was announced by Alok Sharma, UK Business Secretary on 23 March 2020. This important capital will inject life into not only vaccine trials but also support the development of vaccine manufacturing at a scale of one-million doses. The other projects center on the repurposing of existing drugs and the development of antibodies that could target the virus as well as risk-based methods to identify the most at risk individuals. The funding supports the vitally important British national health system (NHS) and associated research efforts. Of course, the hope is that these investments will accelerate all of the efforts.
The projects include the following:
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